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The Last Safari!
In February 2013, after a break of 44 years, I (John Shawcross) returned to Tanzania for what I am calling "The Last Safari".
There were five main phases to the last safari. To keep the downloading to a manageable size I have place our photos on separate pages for each phase as shown below. You can access any one by clicking on the title or photo.
How this all came about is that in early 1967 Frances and I took up residence in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. Me for a 27 month assignment with the Ministry of Communications Labor and Works to improve town water systems in Northwestern Tanzania; Frances to teach at the Devkunva Arya Girls School.
We moved with our two children, Clare and Paul, into one of two six unit apartment buildings known as "Breeze Lane" in an area of Dar called Upanga. Our next door neighbors were George and Elizabeth Psychas and their small son Paul and daughter Ellen. George had been working in Tanzania for Peace Corps and as a teacher on and off since 1962 and had met and married Liz during that time. George was close to leaving Tanzania having spent most of his time in the Lake Victoria and Kilimanjaro area. We helped despatch their last boxes of personal effects to Massachusetts and so had their address in the US.
In September 1968 our daughter Lucy was born in Dar es Salaam and in the summer of 1969 I received a US green card visa and immigrated to the USA getting a job in the Boston area. I realized I was close to the Psychas family. So I called and visited soon after my arrival in the US. After 1969 we kept in touch and shared in the joys and sorrows of each others lives. Most years we were together at Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter or all three. George and Liz introduced us to trailer camping, one year Lucy crossed the US with Liz and George and family. One summer Paul Psychas stayed with us while working for Green peace. We grieved at the early death of their lovely and gifted daughter Maria while still a student at Harvard and watched Liz fade away, too young. We visited Ellen in DC soon after the birth of her first baby Nicola and so the family kept in touch through the years
George's son Paul, a medical doctor living in Ghana and working on malaria control, was invited to a conference scheduled for February 2013 and centered near Arusha, Tanzania. Paul decided to take his son Oscar, now 15, on safari to the Tanzanian Game Parks. Paul invited his father, George to join in the game safari. Knowing that I had recently retired and might be available, George asked if I would like to join the Psychas family safari. I decided if I did go I wanted to visit Zanzibar as well and also to return to Dar, our old home in Tanzania. Just before Christmas 2012 I asked Frances for the plane ticket as a Christmas present and she kindly agreed and ended up having to clear the snow from our driveway after several big February storms.
I also prepared a summary on the changes I noted after my 44 year gap. I then got George and Paul to add their impressions.
Click here if you are interested Summary of what changed in Tanzania.
John F. Shawcross
Winchester, MA. USA